More than 1,000 students at the University of Birmingham accessed counselling services last year - with anxiety the most common reason for asking for help.
The NUS said institutions across the UK were struggling to keep up with demand, with services often underfunded and not fit for purpose, and called on universities to do more to support students.
During the 2016/17 academic year, 1,012 students at the university were registered with the counselling service, a rise from 763 in 2015/16.
Numbers registered have remained mostly consistent across the past seven years, at around 900, however 2016/17 was the second highest total after 1,028 in 2011/12.
The most common reason for students to seek help at the university was anxiety and stress, an issue for 386 registrations in 2016/17, 25% of the total. This was followed by depression, which was an issue for 19% of registrations. Students may present with more than one issue.
At Birmingham City University, 939 students used counselling services in 2016/17, 217% more than the 296 who sought help in 2010/11, although the number had fallen from 1,021 in 2015/16.
Aston University has seen a 76% increase in the number of students referred to counselling services over the period, up from 288 in 2010/11 to 508 in 2016/17.
Around a third, 36%, of students seeking help were suffering from anxiety, while a quarter reported depression or low mood.
At the University of Wolverhampton, 472 students accessed counselling services in 2016/17, the highest number in one year since at least 2010/11, when 406 student sought help.
The figures come from a Freedom of Information request to universities across the UK. Based on responses from 115 universities, 103,583 students were in contact with counselling services in 2016/17.
Izzy Lenga, NUS Vice President (Welfare), said: “Unsurprisingly, there has been a significant increase in the number of students disclosing a mental health condition whilst at college or university and institutions are struggling to keep up.
“Demands on students are ever increasing and institutions services are too often underfunded and not fit for purpose.
“It is time for institutions to focus on how best they can truly support their students, both by having fully functioning mental health services, but also by taking responsibility in the aspects of student life that can lead to deteriorating mental health, such as poor housing.
“Students’ mental health should not stop them from flourish during their time in further and higher education and achieving to their full potential in every aspect of their life and should have the support necessary made available to them.”
Experts have suggested the pressures of university life as well as lower wellbeing among young people may be behind the rising numbers, as well as more students being willing to seek help.
Where universities have provided information for all years back to 2010/11, a total of 74 universities, the figures show that the numbers accessing services were up 8% in a year, up by a fifth, 21%, compared to 2014/15, and contacts have soared by two-thirds, 67%, since 2010/11.
Student mental health charity Student Minds said the average age of students overlaps the peak age of onset for mental health difficulties, meaning universities are places where students are likely to first experience mental health difficulties, or first seek support - as they have new opportunity to do so.
As well as this Government wellbeing studies show those aged 20–24 are less likely than any other age group to record high levels of wellbeing.
The charity said the increase in students seeking support could indicate that although there is still a long way to come, the levels of stigma around mental health is decreasing, and with that too awareness of support services increasing in the student population, with the Student Academic Experience survey showing more than two out of three students would know how to contact their counselling services if they needed them.
Student Minds said it would always encourage students to seek support, the counselling service may be place they seek support, then to be referred to the most appropriate support for their needs.
The figures also show that anxiety/stress and depression are increasingly the reason why students are contacting university counselling services.
The proportion of those seeking help that report anxiety or stress as an issue have grown from just under a fifth (18%) in 2010/11 to almost three in 10 (29%) in 2016/17, while the proportion reporting depression has grown from 17% to 20% over the same period.
Student Minds said when a student moves away from home and into university, a significant amount of their life is changing, they may be living independently for the first time, managing finances and competing priorities, as well as trying to secure a good degree in order to be able to navigate the career market upon graduation, with financial pressures, such as managing their money or balancing a job alongside studying, a key challenge.